Kayaks for Fly Fishing
Directory List of Kayaks for Fly Fishing
answers to kayak fishing questions
a great fishing kayaks resource
sit-on-top kayaks for fishing
Gearing Up: 2004 Summer Boat Guide
a great site
– Manufacturer of Hobie Kayaks
– A hunting, fishing, paddle sport canoe
the complete fishing kayak outfitter, with articles, gear reviews and forums
Which fishing kayak is best for me?
East Coast Kayak Fishing
useful bulletin board forum
Here are 10 tips for catching ﬁsh from a kayak.
1. Develop good paddling skills. I’ve said it before, but no matter how good a ﬁsherman you are, proper paddling skills are essential when targeting big ﬁsh. With a big ﬁsh on, a “sleigh ride” taking you several hundred yards to a mile or more from your original hook-up location is not uncommon. In saltwater, larger ﬁsh can tow you away from a protected ﬂat into deeper, open water conditions. Having the proper skills and mindset to get back to your original ﬁshing grounds is essential.
2. Wear a PFD. In addition to having the proper skills, the right gear is essential. When ﬁshing from a kayak, even on protected waterways, a life vest is mandatory. The new auto-inﬂ ation PFDs from Mustang Survival, Stearns and SOSpenders provide safety with virtually no restriction of movement.
3. Communication. If ﬁshing in a group, hand-held VHF radios are not a bad idea to keep everyone aware of the location and status of each angler. When ﬁshing in open water, a cell phone and hand-held VHF should be standard equipment for kayak anglers.
4. Fish with a partner. When the ﬁght is on it’s nice to have an extra set of eyes and ears for spotting other boats and potentially dangerous water conditions. An extra set of hands also can be a big help to stabilize your boat when changing lines, tying tippets, or accessing gear and rods stowed in storage hatches. And without a ﬁshing partner, who is going to capture that epic Kodak moment?
5. Use a paddle leash. A paddle leash or tether gives you the ability to easily discard your paddle while ﬁghting a ﬁsh, without any fear of losing it. The last thing you need is a lost paddle after you’ve been dragged a mile from shore by your trophy catch.
6. Use a drift sock/sea anchor. Call it what you want—drift sock, chute, drogue, or sea anchor—this is an essential device in shortening the ﬁght. When deployed properly, the sea anchor adds considerable drag to your kayak, applying more pressure to the ﬁsh. In addition to shortening ﬁght time, a drift sock also makes it a lot harder for that big ‘ole tarpon to tow you half way to Key West.
7. Use an anchor with a detachable rode and ﬂ oat. A decent anchor rigged with a quick-release anchor rode (line) and ﬂ oat is another must have item when targeting big ﬁsh. Most large ﬁsh need to be followed to keep from being broken off or “spooled,” and if you’re anchored up when you hook up, it’s almost impossible to retrieve an anchor while ﬁghting a ﬁsh. A quick-release system lets you ditch the anchor in place, and a small ﬂ oat attached to the rode allows recovery after landing your ﬁsh.
8. Consider a sit-on-top kayak. In addition to having the most ﬁshing-friendly deck layout, a sit-on-top (“SOT”) offers the ability to put your legs over the side of the hull for added stability when ﬁghting big ﬁsh. It also permits paddling with your feet to make minor boat position changes without using your hands or a paddle. In conditions where the water is not too deep and the bottom is ﬁrm, a SOT gives you the ability to quickly dismount your boat and ﬁght the ﬁsh from a standing position.
9. Keep pressure on the ﬁsh. “Put the wood to it,” my father-in-law likes to yell at me. The more you pressure the ﬁsh, the faster it will tire, and the quicker you can get it boatside. Always keep the line tight and apply pressure in the opposite direction the ﬁsh is running. Never let the ﬁsh rest. Allowing a big ﬁsh to catch its second wind is a sure way to double the ﬁght time. In the right situations, I try to angle my kayak perpendicular to the path of the ﬁsh, and when done properly this maneuver can signiﬁcantly increase drag.
10. The three Rs: Removal of hook, Resuscitation, and Release. Big ﬁsh are legendary for last-ditch escape efforts. Whenever possible I try to “lash up” to another kayak when bringing a big ﬁsh alongside. When done properly the additional balance and stability is helpful for hook removal, photography, and ﬁ nal resuscitation. Even in all the excitement, time must be taken to properly revive the ﬁsh for its safe return. Once the hook has been removed, hold the ﬁsh at the side of the boat and move it back and forth, forcing water through its gills. As the ﬁsh gains strength it will swim off under its own power. The use of a “lipping tool” like the Boga Grip can be very helpful when bringing a large ﬁsh alongside, especially if it has teeth! Big ﬁsh from a kayak are possible. If you follow the advice above, your ﬁrst Nantucket Sleigh Ride will be an event you’ll always remember. Tight Lines.